Tuesday, November 29, 2011

5 Natural Ways to Alleviate Depression

This time of year, many people get depressed for many reasons.  Some include the pressure surrounding the holidays, SAD (seasonal affective disorder), exercising less, eating more unhealthily with all the "treats" around.  Here are five natural and effective ways to lift your spirits:

  1. Exercise.  This is the number one best way to lift your spirits.  If you are a summer sports person and you don't have a winter sport, then this time of year can be depressing.  Take up a winter sport like cross country skiing or ice skating.  If that is not practical, then buy some yoga (click on "Shopping" at the top for recommendations) or aerobics DVDs.  Join a health club or buy a treadmill and some barbells.  The bottom line is you need to move, especially in the winter months when most people are likely to eat more and move less.
  2. Get a good night's sleep.  Not sleeping well can make you irritable and depressed.  If you are having difficulty sleeping, then take melatonin or 5-HTP (increases the body's production of serotonin) before bed.  Also, take your calcium with magnesium before bed.  Calcium helps relaxation.
  3. Don't watch news, reality shows, or violent shows on your television.  There's much more good in the world then bad but unfortunately the media tends to highlight the worse of humanity.  Watch comedy shows.  Laughter reduces stress and depression. 
  4. Do not drink alcohol of any kind.  Alcohol is a depressant.
  5. Take a multivitamin and mineral complex, omega-3 fatty acids (needed for normal brain function and to reduce inflammation),  5-HTP (increases serotonin levels, the body's natural mood lifter), Vitamin B-complex (at least 50 mg each of this anti-stress vitamin), Vitamin C (for anti-stress and immune function) and zinc (found to be deficient on people with depression).    
Warning:  Do not take 5-HTP with anti-depressant drugs. 

Image: graur codrin / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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